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Drones

Drones keep getting into firefighters' way

Small, personal drones are interfering with air crews fighting wildfires across the American Southwest, Time magazine reports.

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Drones are great for capturing action and locations you couldn't otherwise film. There are times, though, they should probably stay grounded -- and that includes when they could get in the way of firefighters battling wildfires that rage every year in the American Southwest.

Yet in the past few weeks, people fighting fires in Arizona, Utah and California say drones keep interfering with planes dropping water and chemical retardants and transporting crews to where they're needed, Time magazine reported Monday. A small drone almost collided with a helicopter battling a blaze in Utah, and firefighters in California had to delay takeoff after spotting drones in the area. Crews in Arizona told the Republic newspaper they spotted two drones in their operation's airspace.

So far this year, three drone incidents forced air crews to land, Time reported. Drones have become an annoyance for urban firefighters, too. Last year, fire departments from Montgomery and Coldenham in New York turned their hose on a drone after it had been filming them for about 10 minutes. They followed with a second blast of water a minute later, taking it out of the sky. The owner of that drone wanted the fire company to buy him a new one.